I've rather enjoyed the last six or seven years reviewing NAS products watching the market and trends change. As hot as desktop NAS products are for home users, with their ability to double as PCs with some vendors, I enjoy that the entry-level market hasn't disappeared. Synology has kept true to that in their value lineup and moving into the rack station market with the two-bay RS217 is a solid step forward.
With the need for storage growing and space at a premium home, users and media enthusiast can benefit from the small form factor of a 1U rack mount solution that in today's market can provide solid performance and top-notch capacity.
Performance of the RS217 was on par with expectations and on that note, we saw solid performance from SSDs in this unit along with hard drives. For users that have a largely sequential workload like device backups, hard drives in RAID 0 are more than adequate for the RS217 to handle at full performance. RAID 1 with hard drives seemed to take a large performance hit in both sequential and mixed workloads. That said, in testing, we found our RAID 0 HDD array to reach 100- 120 MB/s read and write while mixed workloads offered between 250- 500 IOPS.
Users working with mixed workloads even in this two-bay entry-level solution can benefit significantly by using SSDs. Of course, you will want to make sure any drives you use in this system are supported by Synology, but in testing, we saw a near 10x performance increase using a single Gbe ethernet connection.
Of course, as with all Synology appliances, you get DiskStation Manager which really completes the package and while it's not perfect and does have the occasional bug, the blend of features you get along with package access and steady updates make this my favorite platform at this point.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Overall TweakTown Rating||90%|
The Bottom Line: Synology's RS217 isn't the best performing two-bay rack mount, but it does offer a solid amount of features and performance for its given price point.
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United States: The Synology RS217 Two-Bay RackStation retails for $XXX at Amazon.
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